According to a BBC poll, almost 70% of the people in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, viewed our country with hostility before the tsunami. Today, according to a poll released by the Heritage Foundation, almost 70% think more favorably of us.
Another portion of the world where President Bush really improved the American image was in Africa:
WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH traveled to sub-Sahara Africa in February he was greeted by large and tumultuous crowds of admirers – which mystified many of his critics, who believe that the animosity toward his administration abroad is universal. But polling data from the Pew Foundation shows something different: Approval ratings for the United States exceed 80 percent in many African countries, some with large Muslim populations. In Darfur, many families name their newborn sons George Bush.***
The Bush administration doubled foreign aid worldwide over the past eight years, the largest increase since the Truman administration, and used it to encourage poor countries to undertake political and economic reform. Total US government development aid to Africa alone has quadrupled from $1.3 billion in 2001 to more than $5 billion in 2008, and is scheduled to go to $8.7 billion in 2010, principally for education (primary school enrollment in Africa is up 36 percent since 1999), healthcare, building civil society, and protecting fragile environments.
It almost seems like providing food and financial aid is more constructive than bombing people. Hoocoodanode?